AUGUSTO RODRIGUES | NT
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials are expected to come to Goa to discuss with the government the possibilities of postponing the 36th National Games scheduled to be held from March 30 to April 15, 2019.
The government of Goa has in a letter to IOA flagged certain issues that could dampen the hosting of the National Games from March 30.
“We have invited the IOA for a discussion on certain unforeseen issues flagged by us in our letter to them today. There have been certain unforeseen circumstances that have come up. We have flagged of the circumstances to IOA and they seemed to have understood and will be coming down to Goa to discuss the possibility of postponing the Games,” Sports Secretary Ashok Kumar told The Navhind Times. “We have written to the IOA about the bye election scheduled to be held in March and the Lok Sabha elections thereafter. There will be a Model code of conduct during the bye elections and the same will continue for the Lok Sabha elections. We will be constrained to work during this time,” explained Kumar.
“Apart from the Model code of conduct, we have expressed the difficulties we are facing in sourcing volunteers for the conduct of the Games. Most of the volunteers are supposed to be college students and most students will be busy with their exams. We have admitted that we are finding difficulties in sourcing volunteers,” admitted Kumar.
“We are aware that some unforeseen circumstances are creating problems for Goa. We had informed GOA during their presentation to IOA in New Delhi a fortnight back that we would not allow any postponement. As the reasons are not linked to the readiness of infrastructure, we are ready to go to Goa and give them a hearing,” a senior IOA member told The Navhind Times over the phone. Attempts to contact IOA general secretary Rajeev Mehta proved futile.
“The IOA has been responsive to us. I am sure they will lend us their ears and agree that the circumstances are beyond our control. These are unforeseen circumstances. We are prepared for the Games in terms of infrastructure and organisational aspects,” said Kumar.
If the IOA accedes to Goa’s request, the National Games will most probably be held between the last week of September and the first week of December as accommodation will be a problem later in December.
The Olympic Games are in 2020 and hosting the National Games may be a problem because of the Olympic calendar.